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MLA 7th ed. Citation Guide - South Bend-Elkhart: Home


Research requires reading what others have written on the subject you are studying. Whenever you use another person's work, whether it is to quote it exactly or just to use its ideas, it is necessary to give credit to the authors by properly citing the information source you used. It is equally important for your readers to be able to understand what you are citing, who created it, where it came from and when it was published. You must identify the work by using a standard citation format.   In this libguide you will find examples for the correct citation form in MLA (Modern Language Association) style for a variety of materials. 

Not every format is included here and if you cannot find a good example for your source, the librarian will be happy to help you. If that is not possible, the most important thing to remember is to be consistent in the way you present the information and include all of the elements necessary to identify it. When in doubt about the citation format for a specific resource, you should always contact the instructor of the course.

IMPORTANT! MLA no longer requires including the URL (web address) for on line sources. However, your instructor may want you to include the URL.  Always refer to your instructor's published materials and follow any specific instructions.  Examples in this guide are not double spaced but your citations should be double-spaced within and between each entry.  Remember to indent all lines after the first like the examples!

The Basics

Each source includes several key elements:

- author's name - title of the work
- publication information - type of material


Additional elements such as editors, number of volumes or edition numbers might be required.

A period or a comma and a space follow each element.

Each source is listed separately and is arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. When a personal name is in the first position, last name precedes first name. When personal names are elsewhere in the citation, put the first name first (see example for books with more than one author).

If no author’s name is shown on the publication, the title comes first. The title should be italicized followed by a period and a space.